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OnBaseMachine
03-31-2006, 07:40 PM
GM Krivsky builds Reds to win now
Bold moves all part of plan to turn Cincinnati around
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

Reds general manager Wayne Krivsky has probably been the busiest GM in baseball this spring.

Then again, Krivsky was the only GM in the game hired just before camps opened.

Taking on a club coming off five consecutive losing seasons, including a disappointing 73-win campaign in 2005, Krivsky was not afforded a real offseason to upgrade his new team. But it hasn't stopped him from trying to cram a winter's worth of moves into Spring Training.

The new ownership, featuring straight-shooting chief executive officer Bob Castellini, expected a quick turnaround and a competitive team. Carrying a reputation for being a tireless worker earned as an assistant GM for Minnesota, Krivsky was prepared to accommodate his boss and came to the job with a plan.

Will it be enough to put the Reds back in the right direction?

"I hope so. Time will tell," Krivsky said. "We'll see how it plays out. You make decisions and go forward. You try not to look back. You take all the input and make what you hope is a good baseball decision and then go from there."

The Reds lacked starting pitching and had some holes defensively. The February signing of free-agent first baseman Scott Hatteberg, a steady hitter and fielder, led to a bigger deal in March. Power-hitting project Wily Mo Pena was sent to Boston for starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo. It is hoped Arroyo can shore up the rotation while allowing Cincinnati to move Adam Dunn from first base back to left field.

Other lower impact additions included signing veteran Quinton McCracken to a Minor League deal and young pitcher Michael Gosling was claimed off waivers to compete for the fifth starter's spot. During camp, infielder Matt Kata was scooped up off waivers from the Phillies and catching depth was added with David Ross coming over from San Diego in a trade for a Minor League pitcher. Increased competition in camp indicated that jobs wouldn't be won by default.

Whether the flurry of moves translates to wins in 2006 remains to be seen. But Reds players like what they've seen and the message the changes have sent.

"What we've seen from Wayne is that he's a guy trying to put a winning team on the field now," center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. said. "It's not about six, seven years from now. It's about what happens now. That comes from the ownership. When the ownership wants to win, it just trickles down."

"We're making strides in the right direction," utility man Ryan Freel said. "I don't think you can ask for more."

Another veteran, reliever David Weathers, was also impressed.

"I think what it showed, not to get on the other guys that were here making decisions, is that they know our ballclub," Weathers said. "We traded Wily Mo to get Arroyo. We needed starting pitching more than we needed a fourth or fifth outfielder. I know a lot of people in Cincinnati were like, 'How do you make that deal?' because of Wily Mo's potential. ... What it shows the players is these [bosses] are paying attention."

Krivsky and manager Jerry Narron have also shown a lack of patience when pitchers lack control. Luke Hudson and Allan Simpson had good arms but did not have a track record for throwing strikes. They were released this spring.

"Some moves that have been made have been bold moves," Weathers said. "We've let some guys go with potential. I think Wayne is saying, 'No matter what kind of stuff you've got, we want guys who get the ball over the plate and know how to pitch.' It's refreshing to be around something like that. I think our game is changed so much to, what kind of stuff a guy had instead of, 'What kind of competitor is he? What kind of heart does he have? And does he know how to pitch? Does he know how to play the game of baseball?' Wayne brings that."

Before the Reds can be considered real contenders, some key ingredients must be added. The pitching staff is still missing a true ace starter and an identified closer. Ninth-inning leads will be handled with a "closer by committee" for now. Those in the rotation, which had the National League's highest ERA in 2005, must show more consistency.

Don't believe that Krivsky will wait until his first full offseason to add pieces to the puzzle. This could be a season to expect anything, and everything, as Cincinnati maneuvers to be relevant in the NL Central again.

"He wants to win. What more can you ask for?" Freel said. "I think it's all you can really expect from a general manager. I think those guys are leading us down the right path. I guess we'll know more when the season starts and what adjustments we need to make. They're slowly but surely doing it. What more can you say?"

Keep an eye on the transactions wire this summer.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20060330&content_id=1374288&vkey=news_cin&fext=.jsp&c_id=cin

KronoRed
03-31-2006, 08:04 PM
Keep an eye on the transactions wire this summer.

Yep...expect the Reds to be selling

Hatteberg = Win now? :help:

EX BRAVEDAD
03-31-2006, 08:23 PM
Lol

steig
03-31-2006, 09:15 PM
let's define winning. Maybe these moves win more games, possibly breaking .500 But I winning should be defined by championships, not .500 seasons

Reds1
03-31-2006, 09:45 PM
It did seem to be a pretty big stretch. I think the title of the article is bad, but they were trying to show the difference of this owner and GM making moves instead of just talking about them. It seems to me the players have hope and like what they see. I look for more deals to be done. That's one thing the new GM has showed us. He will pick up players. Now look at all the OF for example in AAA. You just keep upgrading players and talent and see what happens.

MartyFan
03-31-2006, 10:20 PM
let's define winning. Maybe these moves win more games, possibly breaking .500 But I winning should be defined by championships, not .500 seasons

Agreed...but you don't turn around a tugboat on a dime...this thing has been sinking and slugging along for a LONG TIME and if we can get to .500 this year I believe it will be one small step for fans...one giant leap for the organization.

Jpup
04-01-2006, 02:17 AM
Agreed...but you don't turn around a tugboat on a dime...this thing has been sinking and slugging along for a LONG TIME and if we can get to .500 this year I believe it will be one small step for fans...one giant leap for the organization.

tear it down, forget about .500. What have the Reds accomplished if they do get to .500? absolutely nothing. They keep playing these old guys instead of letting the future have their chance now. Anyone that can't help the team win in 2 years, should be sent packing for someone who can. Sure, I would like to see the Reds catch lightning in a bottle and chase the wild card, but it's more than unlikely that it will happen.

pitching, pitching, pitching. until they get a manager, a pitching coach, and a GM that understands that it's all about pitching, then they won't win anything. Krivsky might be that guy, it's too early to tell right now. Some of the things he has done have been good, some appear not so good. We shall see. The article does sound pretty good though, when I see Jr. in good spirits about the direction of the organization, it has to be better.

I am not satisfied will .500. I don't care if they win 90 games if the don't make the playoffs and give themselves a shot to win the whole thing.

GAC
04-01-2006, 06:27 AM
They don't need to "tear it done". They need to get the pitching to complement this offense (one of the best in MLB last year).

RedLegSuperStar
04-01-2006, 06:59 AM
The only way the Reds are built to win now is if the play in a division with the likes of the Royals, D-Rays, Marlins, Nationals, and Pirates.

RedLegSuperStar
04-01-2006, 07:02 AM
tear it down, forget about .500. What have the Reds accomplished if they do get to .500? absolutely nothing. They keep playing these old guys instead of letting the future have their chance now. Anyone that can't help the team win in 2 years, should be sent packing for someone who can. Sure, I would like to see the Reds catch lightning in a bottle and chase the wild card, but it's more than unlikely that it will happen.

pitching, pitching, pitching. until they get a manager, a pitching coach, and a GM that understands that it's all about pitching, then they won't win anything. Krivsky might be that guy, it's too early to tell right now. Some of the things he has done have been good, some appear not so good. We shall see. The article does sound pretty good though, when I see Jr. in good spirits about the direction of the organization, it has to be better.

I am not satisfied will .500. I don't care if they win 90 games if the don't make the playoffs and give themselves a shot to win the whole thing.


JPup.. good stuff! I totally agree.

GAC
04-01-2006, 08:19 AM
The only way the Reds are built to win now is if the play in a division with the likes of the Royals, D-Rays, Marlins, Nationals, and Pirates.

Respectfully - I totally disagree. We can compete and win the division we are in. Similar organizations, such as the A's, Twins, and Marlins, are able to do it in their respective divisions. And those divisions are no slouches.

I want to see evidence of progress, and that this organization is moving us in the right direction. And that does not, nor should it be translated to mean, that we become a "competitive .500 team. And I personally don't think that this new management is going to settle for that either. We'll see.

We all know what the "sore spot" is... pitching. Pure and simple. I am more optimistic about this year's rotation then the ones I have seen in the last few years. And yes, there are some "IF's". We need guys like Harang and Claussen to show improvement from last year. And if Milton and Arroyo hold their own, then it could be interesting within the division.

Just give us at least a league average ERA, and this could be a fun team to watch this year. ;)

IslandRed
04-01-2006, 09:33 AM
tear it down, forget about .500. What have the Reds accomplished if they do get to .500? absolutely nothing. They keep playing these old guys instead of letting the future have their chance now. Anyone that can't help the team win in 2 years, should be sent packing for someone who can.

What future? Other than maybe Denorfia, who's supposed to be any good as a big-leaguer who'll start in the high minors or on the bench? The Hattebergs and Aurilias may be infuriating but they're blocking no one worth worrying about.

Anyway, Castellini just bought the team and he's not interested in "check back in 2009." He's in luck there. Most of our good players are young or have favorable contracts, which means the building plan doesn't need to include dumping them. And to that end, Krivsky's doing about what he should. All these old scrappy guys are on one-year deals or on the last year of their deals. If the miracle doesn't happen and we're a seller in July, they can be traded. If they can't be traded, they can be dumped into the ballplayer landfill after the season. We're going to go into 2007 committed only to the ballplayers Krivsky wants to keep, and can go shopping for the rest.

The obvious exception to that previous paragraph is Griffey. I don't expect an immediate move but by next spring, I expect Griffey will be at another position or on another team.

REDREAD
04-01-2006, 09:44 AM
What future? Other than maybe Denorfia, who's supposed to be any good as a big-leaguer who'll start in the high minors or on the bench? The Hattebergs and Aurilias may be infuriating but they're blocking no one worth worrying about.
.

I agree 100% here. We've probably got about at least 3 years of backfilling with Aurillias/Hattenbergs because our farm system is absolutely horrible.
These veterans aren't hindering the rebuilding process. Potentially, they could help it by being traded at the deadline.

Wayne is working on the pitching, but it will take time. At least he's releasing the chaff from the minors and grabbing arms off the waiver wire that are more promising than we have now. At least he's trying instead of sleeping at the wheel like DanO was.

Even if you don't like the Pena-Arroyo trade, you've got to like the logic of finally realizing a rotation upgrade is more important than a 4th OF.

mound_patrol
04-01-2006, 10:13 AM
Good article. I agree with these last couple of comments. If the Reds get to .500 this year then thats great. These vets are signed for one year. Their purpose is to get us into next offseason with a decent team. They mean nothing to the future unless we can flip them for a prospect. Krivsky has done as much as he can with little time to atleast put a simi-competitive squad out there for us to watch. I can't wait for next offseason

TeamBoone
04-01-2006, 11:59 AM
04-01-2006

In for the long term
When it comes to building an organization, new brain trust is on the same wavelength

By Marc Lancaster / Post staff reporter

One morning with about a week to go in spring training, Wayne Krivsky sat in his office overlooking the back fields of the Reds' complex. His cell phone rang only once in a half-hour, a rarity even though the clock had yet to reach 9 a.m.

As frenzied as Krivsky's life has been since he was named general manager Feb. 8, he rarely has had the time to think about the bigger picture. His time has been consumed by assembling a baseball operations staff, remaking his roster on the fly and getting straight all those new names and faces.

"I'm pleased with where we're at now in a short period of time," Krivsky said. "I can't believe it's only been, what, five weeks? Six weeks?"

For both Krivsky and his boss, Reds chief executive officer Bob Castellini, the timing of their transition was less than ideal. Though both charged into their new responsibilities with a plan in mind, they were limited in the depth of change that could be enacted immediately.

But, as badly as they and the fans of the franchise they know pilot would love to see everything stop on a dime and turn back toward success, they've got time. Their commitment is for the long term, and neither is shy about stating that.

Castellini has been part of the ownership groups of three other major league teams, but he's finally back at home and in charge. Krivsky spent the last 11-plus years in a Minnesota Twins front office that went from rock bottom to perennial playoff contention, with remarkable continuity along the way.

Everything is set up for a lengthy reign by the two men at the top. The most significant task they'll undertake in their first season in charge of the Reds is filling in the gaps around them with people similarly committed.

"It all comes down to the organization we build and the people that we surround ourselves with," said Castellini.

A certain amount of house cleaning will be necessary, and that has been ongoing since Castellini took over. But between a handful of high-profile hires made already and the existing talent in place, the Reds should have a decent base from which to work, on and off the field.

This section provides brief sketches of 10 people who will shape the Reds over the next decade. Fans already know some of them - Adam Dunn, Edwin Encarnacion, Jerry Narron - and they've heard about others, such as pitching phenom Homer Bailey. As Castellini's tenure begins to unfold, they'll no doubt get to know everyone detailed in these pages even better.

Those on the inside are already aware.

"We want to try to build the franchise around Adam, Homer, Edwin and a couple of other guys," said Castellini, who spent much of spring training doing his own scouting.

The majority owner attended numerous Grapefruit League games, sitting right behind the backstop and paying close attention to his players. But that was only part of his education. It became a common occurrence for Castellini to pull up a chair and sit in on the spontaneous bull sessions among the baseball operations staff, usually held in Krivsky's office.

"That's how he's going to learn how people think," Krivsky said. "That's the beauty of it. We don't have formal meetings, per se. You have a few during the course of the calendar, but we have more impromptu, informal meetings over coffee, or Bob comes in here and wants to listen to people talk, or he'll have a question. It's been really a nice arrangement."

The communication flow from Castellini to Krivsky to Narron already has been one of the triumphs of the new regime. Though the manager was in place when the other two arrived, his style meshes perfectly with the others'.

"That's how I feel," said Krivsky. "I did talk to (Narron) three or four times during the interview process, and I got a good feeling about him over the phone. But I think until you work with a guy and you look him in the eye and you talk about things and you see how he handles situations and how he interacts with his staff and the players - until you see that, you never know for sure."

Instability has marked the Reds over much of the past decade or two. Some of it seemed by design, like Jim Bowden's manipulations that kept everyone on their toes. In other cases, it was simply a case of mismatched parts, such as Carl Lindner's arranged marriage of general manager Dan O'Brien and manager Dave Miley.

The difference since the current group moved into place has been noticeable, especially to those in the midst of the action.

Dunn, the 26-year-old slugger, agreed to terms just before spring training on a two-year contract with an option for a third year. His option voids if he gets traded - a clause he insisted upon to demonstrate his desire to stay with the Reds. That wouldn't have happened under the previous regime, he said, but he now believes Cincinnati could be a long-term fit for him.

"I hope so," Dunn said. "I didn't think it was going to be like that for a while. But with new ownership coming in and it seems like they're committed to not just competing, but winning, I'm on board for that."

Baseball frowns upon those that look too far into the future or make assumptions about what might meet them there. Because games cannot be put on hold as all the various pieces are assembled, the evolution of the Reds will proceed even as the inevitable growing pains are on display.

Given a little more time, though, those in charge firmly believe they'll get it right.

"I would hope by the time we have our organizational meetings at the end of October that we have a better sense of who we are, that we have a sense of where we're going, that we set a game plan, which I wasn't able to do, obviously, this year," Krivsky said. "This whole year's going to be an evaluation process of a lot of things."

http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060401/SPT05/604010416/1027

TeamBoone
04-01-2006, 12:01 PM
Publication date: 04-01-2006

Are things truly different? We'll likely know by June
Column by The Post's Lonnie Wheeler


We'll probably know by June. July at the latest.

By then, we'll be able to tell whether the new, restructured Reds are serious about the pennant thing. June, in particular, tends to provide bare-faced commentary.

Recent Junes have made this distressingly clear to followers of Cincinnati baseball. There was 2003, for instance, the great season when the tax-built ballpark was ready and the Reds were allegedly poised to collect on their protracted years of putting things off. It started pretty well that spring, and by early June the local team, having swept four games from the Cardinals and taken two of three from the Braves and Yankees, was a meager 2 games out of first place.

At that point, it was suggested that the Reds, fragile contenders whose high standing was gained in spite of pathetic pitching, make a trade before it was too late. To which John Allen, the chief operating officer, replied, "It's way premature. The trading deadline is the end of July, and we'll wait until it's that time of year. A lot can happen between now and then."

And, of course, it did. In the space of less than a week in early July - during which time, solving nothing, they traded for D'Angelo Jimenez - the Reds fell from 2 games behind to 7. Two weeks later, eight days before the trading deadline, they were 11 back and effectively finished.

Poignantly, it seemed to some that the Cincinnati organization might have actually preferred it that way. Out of contention at the trading deadline, there was no longer pressure to balloon the payroll with genuine pennant-race players. Instead, the Reds, seizing the opportunity to save, headed hard in the other direction, ridding themselves of Aaron Boone, Jose Guillen and Scott Williamson. It was the same sort of policy-making that, the season before, had prevented Jim Bowden from completing trades for Bartolo Colon and Scott Rolen that would have, at considerable cost, reordered the NL Central.

In 2004, June again found the Reds within two games of first place and doing nothing to stay in the race, which they inevitably couldn't. The pattern had become distinct and disturbing.

So it is that we ought to know by June, perhaps, if things are truly different now, as they certainly seem to be with Bob Castellini as owner and Wayne Krivsky as his general manager. Castellini has bounded out of the box with a sense of caring and edge of competitiveness that wasn't witnessed during Carl Lindner's stewardship. Meanwhile, Krivsky - in, for example, trading Wily Mo Pena for Bronson Arroyo (and, with less aplomb, Bobby Basham for David Ross) - has shown a pleasing penchant for the present. In his resolve to improve the team by the hour, he turns over stones with a doggedness that emboldens him to actually pick up what he finds under there.

For the Reds, though, the critical item will prove, soon enough, to be not the individual inclinations of the two new executives, but the symbiosis between them. While Krivsky's predecessor, Dan O'Brien, performed his GM duties in a most conscientious manner, he, unfortunately, was hired by Lindner for reasons apart from pure baseball. Krivsky, on the other hand, was chosen by Castellini on a pitch-and-hit basis.

With that foremost in mind, Castellini was quick to remove Allen from the baseball side of the equation, leaving nobody between the owner and GM. It was a quiet but telling move that, for the Cincinnati organization, redefined triumph with terms not wholly economic. As a result, the Reds' fate in the years ahead is likely to revolve around the way in which Krivsky's artistry serves Castellini's ambition; and the way, also, in which Castellini's budget serves Krivsky's ambition.

To that end, the best signs, so far, point to the period prior to the trading deadline, and how both men regard it. Castellini has declared that, if contending requires it, he won't hesitate to expand the player budget. Krivsky has said, "If it makes sense, absolutely, do it in June. Why wait?"

It's what we, here, want to hear. Having endured the dark decade of pre-Lewis football and the dizzying Zimpher days at the big university, Cincinnati has had quite enough of dysfunctional teams. Better is expected of the Reds.

Better, in fact, is demanded of the Reds, a mandate forged by the building of Great American Ball Park and not yet met. From it comes Castellini's charge, and Krivsky's, and that of every athlete to whom they entrust a roster position.

By late spring, we'll know about the players.

By early summer, we'll know about their bosses, which will tell us more.

Contact Lonnie Wheeler at lwheeler@cincypost.com.

http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060401/SPT05/604010419/1027

Aronchis
04-01-2006, 03:24 PM
LOL. The 2003 and 2004 teams were DOA. Anything they would have done to try and continue to "compete" that year would have gone up in flames of wasted resources(which the Reds didn't have much of in the first place).

If anything, the 2003 trades come to the forefront this year with Harang,Claussen and Belisle all handling key components of the staff. Doubtfull they can carry the Reds to the playoffs, but they may be the first layer of what is to come.

Eric_Davis
04-01-2006, 03:35 PM
You've got to like the players' comments, that they feel ownership is behind them, trying to help them.

Superdude
04-01-2006, 04:20 PM
Since when did not being horrible become our goal? It sounds like I'm the minority here, but I could care less if we get to .500. Even if we do reach that mark, unlike Brewers last season, we won't be continuing to get better. We'll go into '07 with the exact same average team, lose Harang at some point, and then suck again.

I want to be building to win 95 games in the near future, not adding 29 year old barely league average pitchers and playing 36 year old second basemen just to claw our way to a decent season.

Patrick Bateman
04-01-2006, 04:23 PM
Since when did not being horrible become our goal? It sounds like I'm the minority here, but I could care less if we get to .500. Even if we do reach that mark, unlike Brewers last season, we won't be continuing to get better. We'll go into '07 with the exact same average team, lose Harang at some point, and then suck again.

I want to be building to win 95 games in the near future, not adding 29 year old barely league average pitchers and playing 36 year old second basemen just to claw our way to a decent season.


....And how do we do that overnight? We can't just go from 70 to 95 wins in one season without going waaaay over budget. The Reds need to take babysteps. Winning half our games would be a step in the right direction, and with off-season moves we could begin moving towards contention.

Superdude
04-01-2006, 04:31 PM
And how do we do that overnight? We can't just go from 70 to 95 wins in one season without going waaaay over budget

I said near future, not overnight.


Winning half our games would be a step in teh right direction

Not if the moves you're making aren't built to improve from that .500 season. Now if we're planning on upping the budget and signing an ace next offseason, great, but if not, all we're doing is trying to keep from finishing behind the Pirates.

Patrick Bateman
04-01-2006, 04:39 PM
I said near future, not overnight.

I see near future meaning this season/next season. There are realistically no moves that will immediately put us in contention. Trying to improve the team incrementally is the only realistic goal right now to try and content as soon as possible.


Not if the moves you're making aren't built to improve from that .500 season. Now if we're planning on upping the budget and signing an ace next offseason, great, but if not, all we're doing is trying to keep from finishing behind the Pirates.

So do we just try to sit on our hands ala DOB and finish with 65 games? The goal of this season is to win as many games as posisblt while building for the next couple of seasons without sacrificing the future. Adding veterans doesn't get in the way of that at all (as long as they are better than what we already have). I think the new ownership will be willing to up the payroll once Krivsky is able to put a capable team on the field. By increasing the win total the Reds can slowly move towards success.

redskirtsrgood
04-01-2006, 09:42 PM
So here's why the Hudson and Royals are apart; So Luke had a bad if not terrible year in 2005 but there are factors that can support his making the Royals team...First of all he had a great year in '04....In '05 he started the year in spring traing with a sore shoulder and was rushed to help a struggling Reds after just one start in AA (another great Dan O call...by the way, Dan O was fired) After struggling with a sore/dead/pain in his shoulder he posted a terrible, at best, record in 2005, the Reds brilliantly sent him to the Fall League League where he continued to struggle. Rumor has it he told the Reds his arm was dead and they told him to throw anyways at half effort. Can you blame Hudson for that...NO, I blame the Reds. Hence their track record for sore arms and arm surgeries. Maybe this was a common solution with what seems to be a common problem. Your arm is tired and hurts, hey keep on throwing!!!